I’ve been job searching for about a month now. I guess in the grand scheme of unemployment trends in the US currently that’s not very long, but when you are the person in the midst of “the hunt” it can feel a bit like walking up an enclosed spiral staircase when you can’t see how far you’ve come or how far you have left to climb. That blindness to the length of time I’ll remain on this journey to find a job can be maddening. There are few moments during that day that I find I’m not trying to tease out the blueprints to that metaphorical spiral staircase.
How many steps will I travel before I at least reach a landing where I can rest for a while? How many more times will I search Monster.com or Idealist.org before I find that listing for my job? Which interview will go well? Should I wait to accept one job in hopes this more interesting possibility will be offered? What will I eventually find at the top of all of these stairs?
Then for me at least there is this underlying question that I’ve been asked since I was 8 and one that I’m still not sure how to answer even though I’m almost 30.
What do I want to be when I grow up?
I’ve always had a diversity of interests and I’ve enjoyed exploring multiple avenues of career possibilities in my twenties, but now I’m at a point when I feel like I need and want to make a move toward narrowing my focus. Even though it feels like the right time to be making this kind of big decision, the prospect of doing so is somehow terrifying and so I begin to feel a bit claustrophobic.
Yet in the midst of all the angst of the job search, I find moments when I am afforded glimpses of the future me that I’m journeying toward. Like beams of light shining in through small windows built into the walls of that spiral staircase, my path seems illumined for just a moment and I feel some hope knowing that there is still a world outside this enclosure and that when I reach the top I’ll emerge to enjoy a whole new perspective of my journey.
Yesterday evening I had one of those moments when I led the first session of a 7 week small group study at “The Church.” Channeling my energy into teaching others some of what I learned while in seminary was completely invigorating. [smile] It felt so natural to be fostering our discussion about prayer and encouraging those gathered to let go and experiment over the next few months with some new prayer practices. I felt for a moment like I was fulfilling my purpose and that I could enjoy doing something like this for the rest of my life. That feeling was such a welcome respite from all the uncertainty that I’ve been carrying with me lately and exactly the boost I needed going into another job interview this afternoon.
Today I am grateful for glimpses of the future.
What are you grateful for?